If you’ve been wanting to start a business for a while but can’t seem to get the ball rolling, you’re not alone. Even if you’re excited about being a business owner, the thought of getting a company off the ground can be overwhelming when you think about all the moving parts involved.
At some point, however, you’re going to need to throw perfection out the window and go for it. You will make mistakes and learn a lot along the way, but your dream business will not start itself. The good news is it’s possible to launch a business within the timeframe of a single workday!
Below is a template for the tasks you need to complete to lay a firm foundation for your startup. And don’t worry—if you don’t stick to it by the exact hour, you can still get everything done in a day!
8 – 9 a.m. | Establish Goals
Your first step should be to figure out what you want from your business. How do you envision your lifestyle over the next five, 10, or 15 years? How much money do you want to make? And are you willing to work the occasional 70-hour week, or do you want more time with your family? Answering these types of questions will direct your steps.
9 – 10 a.m. | Choose a Business Idea
There is no shortage of potential business ideas that you could pursue. Consider all your knowledge, skills, and interests, and brainstorm possibilities. Then, conduct market research to determine a few ideas that best align with your goals and can bring a profit to your market. Once you have a few, dig a little deeper into your research, and weed out all but one.
10 – 11 a.m. | Set up a Legal Structure
Every business needs a legal structure. And the type of entity you should establish will depend on your specific needs. For instance, there are many LLC advantages to consider, such as pass-through taxation, limited liability, flexibility, and more.
Just be thorough as you set up your LLC so that it complies with all state requirements. It might be worth the investment to work with a formation service!
11 – 12 p.m. | Make a Budget
While many startups can get going with minimal investment, there will still be costs to factor in as you lay the groundwork for your business. Think about any professional services, software tools, office supplies and equipment, and anything else that you need to account for, and create a budget that you can stick to.
12 – 1 p.m. | Take a Lunch Break
That’s right—even on the day you start an entire business, you should take a break! Take an hour (or 30 minutes at least) to rest and eat a healthy lunch. Try to think about other things besides your startup so that you can recharge and get back to the drawing board with fresh energy.
1 – 2 p.m. | Open a Business Account
Many entrepreneurs mistake using their bank account for business expenses. This is particularly common for sole proprietors who do not work with a team. But this can cause issues when it comes time to pay taxes or seek funding. Create a business account and remain prudent in keeping your personal and company finances separate.
2 – 3 p.m. | Create Your Essential Branding Pieces
Once you have handled some of the administrative tasks involved with starting a business, it’s time to get creative. You likely already have a business name chosen if you established your legal structure, but you also need a logo that will set your company apart from others. Your logo should look good and reflect what you are offering consumers.
Now is also a great time to start building a website. There are plenty of affordable website builders designed for entrepreneurs with minimal design and development experience. Find a platform and template that you like and start putting the foundational elements of your site together.
3 – 4 p.m. | Start Finding Freelancers
Unless you plan on operating as a solopreneur for the first year, it won’t hurt to start looking for freelance professionals who can help you launch strong and set your company up for healthy growth. Consider all the tasks involved in starting a business, and make a list of the ones you don’t have the time or experience to fulfill.
Then, go to online job boards to start comparing candidates. Whether you need help with web design, content writing, administrative tasks, or any number of other jobs, you can quickly connect with freelancers who fit within your budget.
No matter how excited you are about starting a business, it is easy to procrastinate on something that requires so many steps. But instead of waiting for the perfect time, why not begin today?
Follow the tips above, and research any other actions that could help you lay a solid foundation for a promising startup. And write out a detailed plan so that you can clear a day in your schedule to get it done!